The new gold standard

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has come to a conclusion. The Olympics featured a bit of everything including some old faces continuing to impress, new faces taking over, a few magical moments for the United States, and of course some controversy.

When it was all said and done, Norway led the final medal count with a total of 39, including 14 gold. They were followed by Germany, with 31, Canada with 29, and the United States with 23. Although it was not America’s best Olympic showing, we were certainly well represented.

Things started out a bit hectic for our country. On the fourth day, 17-year-old Red Gerard overslept after staying up late watching Netflix. When he woke up, he couldn’t find his jacket, so he had to borrow someone else’s. He ended up being late that morning — to the Olympics. Gerard proceeded to win the United States’ first gold of the 2018 Olympics in Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding, upsetting Canadian favorite Max Parrot. He followed it up by accidentally cursing on live television while celebrating. Oh, America.

Fellow 17-year-old snowboarder Chloe Kim also won gold for the USA in the Women’s Halfpipe. She became the youngest woman to win a medal for snowboarding in Olympics history, posting an impressive score of 98.25. She also loves food, as she so openly expressed on her social media, stating that she ate several churros before her run.

Familiar faces dominated the headlines as well. Superstars Shaun White and Lindsay Vonn were back in action in Pyeongchang. Vonn finished third in the Women’s Downhill Alpine Ski, earning a bronze medal. White got the gold in the Men’s Halfpipe for snowboarding, scoring a 97.75 for his third career gold medal. Fun fact: when Shaun White won his first gold medal, Red Gerard and Chloe Kim were just six years old.

David Wise and Jamie Anderson both brought home gold medals for Team USA in Men’s Skiing Freestyle Halfpipe and Women’s Slopestyle Snowboarding, each repeating their gold medal victories from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Mikaela Shiffrin earned gold after placing first in the Women’s Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom. Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins both won gold as well in the Women’s Team Sprint Freestyle for cross-country skiing, making that Team USA’s first gold medal in any cross-country skiing event in the past 42 years.

Meanwhile, the Russian curling team stirred up some controversy. Alexander Krushelnitsky, a member of their team, tested positive for a banned substance. So after a controversial history of doping, the Russians have even managed to add curling to the list. Team USA’s Men’s Curling team, on the other hand, made history by winning the United States’ first-ever gold medal for curling. John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, and John Landsteiner upset the number one ranked Swedish team in exciting fashion thanks to a perfect throw in the eighth end, putting Team USA up 10-5 with just two ends left.

Speaking of winning in an exciting fashion, the Women’s USA Ice Hockey Team won gold after defeating rival Canada in a shootout. Team USA was down 2-1 at the start of the third, but Monique Lamoureux-Morando managed to tie it up with just six minutes remaining in regulation time. After a 20-minute overtime period, the game ultimately went into a shootout, where the United States won after Monique’ twin sister Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson netted her shot following a beautiful ankle-breaking deke. Team USA goalie Maddie Rooney then came up with a huge pad save to secure the team’s first gold in over two decades.

In conclusion, the United States ended up winning just nine gold medals. Although this was not our best Olympics in terms of medal count, we displayed a variety of talents, clutch performances, upsets and our world-famous American culture. We showed our pride, determination, grit, and of course, our love for food and Netflix.

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